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Building Healthy Communities | Near Westside, Syracuse

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Grantee Name: Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion
Grant Project Title: Near Westside Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Grant Amount: $249,471

The Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse once directly connected to the downtown of Syracuse.  A series of transportation projects—the expansion of West Street, the interruption of the street grid, and the loss of manufacturing jobs—contributed to the isolation of the community and erosion of resources. These processes led to the deterioration of the neighborhood and loss of a significant number of housing units, employment that pays a living wage, and other amenities. Through its Near Westside Initiative, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion is working with local partners to turn this neighborhood around.

COMMUNITY FAST FACTS

  • 49% of children in Syracuse live in poverty.
  • The obesity rate for Onondaga County (of which Syracuse is the county seat) is 27.9%.
  • The smoking rate for Onondaga County (of which Syracuse is the county seat) is 16%.
  • The diabetes rate for Onondaga County (of which Syracuse is the county seat) is 9%.
  • The high-school graduation rate for Syracuse public schools ranges from 41–57%.

PROJECT GOALS

  • Increase residents’ knowledge of, access to, and purchase of healthier foods;
  • Improve the built environment and activate public spaces to make them safer; and
  • Strengthen community cohesion and peacemaking efforts.

WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED TO DATE


HEALTHY FOODS
  • Launched the NuVal nutritional scoring program at Nojaim Bros. Supermarket, paired with the Healthy Shopper Reward program and nutritional education both at the store and at St. Joseph’s Primary Care Center–West.

BUILT ENVIRONMENT & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
  • Renovated an underused, dilapidated tennis court into a box soccer court;
  • Organinzed the Summer Fun at Skiddy Park program at the area's only public park with a full roster of organized opportunities for physical activity (including a partnership with Syracuse Housing Authority for a summer softball league; a partnership with a local church and the Boys and Girls Club for a teen baseball clinic; and a movie night series); and
  • Worked with a local church to provide indoor organized physical activity opportunities for youth. 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
  • Launched “50 Events in 50 Weeks” campaign to connect neighbors and activate public outdoor and indoor spaces;
  • Conducted street light inventory; and
  • Completed the Skiddy Park field house, which includes community space and a neighborhood police outpost for improved safety.

PARTNERSHIPS

WHAT WE’RE INVESTING IN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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